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MLB Trade Rumors: Ranking the Top 20 Hitters Likely to Be Available at the Trade Deadline

With the 2022 MLB trade deadline quickly approaching, some big-time bats can be joining World Series contenders this season. Here are the top 20 hitters who could be on the move over the next week and a half.
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MLB Trade Rumors: Ranking the Top 20 Hitters Likely to Be Available at the Trade Deadline

Most MLB World Series contenders are in need of better hitters. Throughout the season, slash lines have looked dreadful for the average hitter, with the average hitter hitting just over .240 on the season. That's certainly not how I remember baseball! Anyway, contenders need bats. So we've listed the top 20 hitters that should be available at the 2022 MLB trade deadline.

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Top 20 Hitters Likely Available at the Trade Deadline

Tier 1 Bats

1. Willson Contreras, C, Cubs

2. Andrew Benintendi, OF, Royals

3. Josh Bell, 1B/DH, Nationals

4. Trey Mancini, 1B/OF, Orioles

5. Brandon Drury, 1B/3B/OF, Reds

These players are the best of the bunch. Teams will have to spend a little more than they want to get these players. They'll also have to compete against other teams in the market, who are also looking for these bats.

Willson Contreras was the starting catcher for the National League All-Star team but hasn't been able to help out the Cubs very much this season because their roster is horrible. Andrew Benintendi isn't vaccinated, which could hurt his trade stock going into the deadline.

Meanwhile, Josh Bell is an interesting candidate, as he's a switch-hitting designated hitter. Every contending team would want one of those. Trey Mancini might be off the market, for now, knowing the Orioles are competing, and Brandon Drury is currently having the best year of his career. Some might think he'll soon fall off. But one team will pay up for his bat and hope for the best.

Tier 2 Bats

6. Whit Merrifield, 2B/OF, Royals

7. Ian Happ, OF, Cubs

8. David Peralta, OF, D-Backs

9. Dominic Smith, 1B, Mets

10. Nelson Cruz, DH, Nationals

I know Whit Merrifield hasn't had the best season for the Royals, but he's a hit machine when he gets going and is able to steal a ton of bases. Being on a contender will help his chances of getting back to his normal self.

Meanwhile, Ian Happ made the All-Star game along with Contreras and deserves some recognition for his play this season.

On the other hand, Peralta and Smith are two guys that will likely platoon elsewhere, hitting against only right-handed pitchers because both have struggled against lefties this season. Lastly, Nelson Cruz can provide veteran leadership and power to any organization down the stretch as one of the best overall hitters in the last decade.

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Tier 3 Bats

11. Tyler Naquin, OF, Reds

12. Tommy Pham, OF, Reds

13. Donovan Solano, INF, Reds

14. Ramon Laureano, OF, Athletics

15. Joey Gallo, OF, Yankees

The Reds are obviously in sell mode. Tyler Naquin, Tommy Pham, and Donovan Solano are all intriguing options for contending teams. After all, the Reds didn't struggle to hit the ball in the first half of the season. A lot of game totals went over the total because of good hitting and terrible pitching.

There's also Ramon Laureano of the Athletics and Joey Gallo of the Yankees. Gallo is on a contending team already, but he's just not producing and will probably end up somewhere else after the deadline.

Tier 4 Bats

16. Michael A. Taylor, OF, Royals

17. Sean Murphy, C, Athletics

18. Anthony Santander, OF, Orioles

19. Austin Hayes, OF, Orioles

20. Cedric Mullins, OF, Orioles

Tier 4 is more of the unknown. Michael A. Taylor can do some great things for a contending team. He's got a plus glove, great speed, and the occasional power. Sean Murphy has been the only consistent bat for the Athletics pretty much all season long. We'll see if the Athletics move him or build around him.

Lastly, a ton of Orioles could be on the market if the Orioles collapse in the next couple of series. Mullins is unlikely to leave, which is why he's last on the list, but Santander and Hayes could find new homes. They're two very solid bats that can do damage in a more stacked lineup.

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Jason grew up an avid sports fan. His passion for sports writing grew in high school and he developed a blog that was strictly for New York Sports. From his work, you will quickly realize that he loves looking at games from an analytical and numbers perspective and hopes to provide you with that same perspective in his articles.


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